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How learning preferences and teaching styles influence effectiveness of surgical educators

      Highlights

      • Surgical educators most commonly have multimodal learning preferences.
      • Certain teaching styles are associated with effectiveness in surgical educators.
      • Surgical educators rate their teaching effectiveness lower than residents rate them.

      Abstract

      Background

      Effective surgical educators have specific attributes and learner-relationships. Our aim was to determine how intrinsic learning preferences and teaching styles affect surgical educator effectiveness.

      Methods

      We determined i) learning preferences ii) teaching styles and iii) self-assessment of teaching skills for all general surgery attendings. All general surgical residents in our program completed teaching evaluations of attendings.

      Results

      Multimodal was the most common learning preference (20/28). Although the multimodal learning preference appears to be associated with more effective educators than kinesthetic learning preferences, the difference was not statistically significant (80.0% versus 66.7%, p = 0.43). Attendings with Teaching Style 5 were more likely to have a lower “professional attitude towards residents” score on SETQ assessment by residents (OR 0.33 (0.11, 0.96), p = 0.04). Attendings rated their own “communication of goals” (p < 0.001), “evaluation of residents” (p = 0.04) and “overall teaching performance” (p = 0.01) per STEQ domains as significantly lower than the resident’s assessment of these cofactors.

      Conclusion

      Identification of factors intrinsic to surgical educators with high effectiveness is important for faculty development. Completion of a teaching style self-assessment by attendings could improve effectiveness.

      Keywords

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